ABC Guide

Published on 3 February 2015

COMPILED BY JOEL TAN

I Theatre

I Theatre is one of Singapore’s premier children’s theatre companies. With a strong 13-year presence on the scene, the company, led by artistic director Brian Seward who directs, writes and designs many of the company’s shows, puts up at least four full productions a year. I Theatre started out as ImagineArts, an arts-education company that branched into theatrical productions targeted mainly at youths.

The theatre wing later shifted its focus to children’s theatre and has since carved a niche for itself with spectacular, high-quality musical theatre for children and families. Recent productions, many of them original and featuring the company’s trademark elaborate puppetry, include The Enormous Turnip (2013), Ashputtel — The Story of Cinderalla (2012) and Hop and Honk — The Ugly Duckling and the Frog Prince (2014). Upcoming productions include Aesop’s Fables.

Indian Fine Arts Society Singapore

The Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society is an academy that teaches classical Indian arts, offering classes in both Northern and Southern art forms. Carnatic and Hindustani singing, Bharatanatyam and Kathak classical dance, as well as various Indian classical music instruments reflect the academy’s comprehensive Pan-Indian approach. The society also provides internal examinations and certifications. Beginning life in 1949 with just 12 members, it has expanded to a network of almost 2,000 students, teachers and alumni. Although it began with a strong focus on staging concerts by local and international performers, in the 1950s, the society shifted its attention more towards education, transmitting an age-old culture to generations to come.

 (Illustration Jimmy Lee)

Iskandar Ismail

Iskandar Ismail was one of Singapore’s foremost composers, musical directors, recording producers and performers. He was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 2008 for his extensive contribution to Singapore’s music industry. Well known for merging musical styles, often crossing sounds from classical and pop music, as well as Western and Eastern melodies, Iskandar scored for the musical theatre, the classical music hall and large national projects like the National Day Parade and the 2010 Youth Olympics Games.

On home ground, Iskandar’s arrangements were used in marquee stage productions such as Kampung Amber (1994), Sing to the Dawn (1996), Snow.Wolf.Lake (1997) and Chang & Eng (1997). Internationally, he arranged music for recording artists like Sandy Lam, George Lam, Aaron Kwok and Jacky Cheung.

A graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Iskandar received early recognition for his talent in jazz, winning the John Lewis Jazz Masters Award while studying at Berklee. Later in life, he would become director of the National University of Singapore Jazz Band, part of his efforts to mentor the next generation of Singapore musicians. He passed away at age 58 in 2014 after battling lung and brain cancer.

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